Meet Bill Hogan: Mentee from Rumriver Art Center’s 2020-21 Artist Mentorship Program


I would like to introduce you to Bill Hogan, he was a mentee for this last year. Bill’s focus was on watercolor painting and he worked with Jerry Jorgenrud for the last 9 months. They have a show at the Rumriver Art Gallery opening on Saturday, July 17 from 2pm-4pm which runs through August 13.

Bill says “My sketchbook is a guide for experimenting and developing ideas using color, light and shadows without restrictions or expectations to produce a finished work. It’s important to set aside a portion of each day for self-expression and creativity.”

Bill grew up in Wilmer, MN. Art entered Bill’s life his freshman year in high school when he got involved with a theatre workshop. He was a behind the scene guy who did the building and painting of scenery. After high school Bill attended St. Cloud State College and majored in technical theater. A teacher encouraged him to enroll in art classes so he could learn about color. He told me he is still learning. After college Bill did some work in community theatres in La Crosse WI and Rochester, MN. He eventually found his way to working in a dental lab at the University of MN, where he was an expert in artistic color of teeth.

Fairy Castle

Bill has always enjoyed being creative and exploring new things. His job at the dental lab was to help the students and when they were in classes he would use wax and cast little shapes into silver. These casts resemble some of the designs of the work he did during the mentorship program.

The Hourglass – Time in Time

Bill enjoyed the last year in the mentorship program. I asked him what growth he has seen. He said a big step is showing his work to other people. He had to push himself out of his comfort zone. This is his first art show and he says he is scared and excited! I asked Bill what surprised him this year. Bill said he enjoyed trying some new techniques, such as mono-printing and pushing more to put into his designs.


I asked about how Bill starts a project idea. He told me it starts with a blank page and sometimes he just draws a line, then moves things around a bit, then soon an idea comes forth. Bill had spent his time in the mentorship program exploring and experimenting with abstract art using watercolor and pen and ink. He says he thinks he has expanded out, He has taken designs from his sketchbooks of many years and expanded on those ideas for the work he has
created during the mentorship program.

Bill is inspired by Jewelry artist Christian Schmidt and Sculpture artist Charles Biederman. He admired that they were both professional working artist who made a living with their artwork and admired both of their styles of art.

The Swan

I asked him what was next for him and he said “Enjoying what I am doing and keep doing it.” That is good advice for us all.

Check out Bill Hogan and Jerry Jorgenrud’s Gallery show called Abstract in Motion. They will also be holding an artist talk 10am-11:30am on Saturday, July 24th.

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